Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$19.95
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Acceptable | Details
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: *** 1929 Print *** Acceptable - Age appropriate wear - Crease along spine - Bumping to corners - Cover shows wear - Tanning to pages - Some small rips and tears - Great reading copy! (shelf 136, row 1) T
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Giants in the Earth Hardcover – 1929

4.6 out of 5 stars 177 customer reviews

See all 35 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$50.00
Hardcover, 1929
$19.95
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$6.99
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$7.94

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
click to open popover
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: A. L. Burt Company; Spine Lean edition (1929)
  • ASIN: B009NNQP9K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,484,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kirk F. Sniff on March 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
Rolvaag's classic is a treasure. I feel cheated that I didn't discover until I was 48 years old. On the other hand, a half a century of life's experience only enhances one's enjoyment of the book. Rolvaag's characters are unbelievably rich and psychologically deep: Beret, the troubled homesteader's wife, Pers Hansa, her resourceful and cunning husband, their solid neighbor Han Olsa and his able and gentle wife Sorrine, the ebullient and politically crafty Syvert, and his wife Kjersti, who longs for a child she will never have but adopts her little community instead. These core characters and many others give lessons in the mysteries of the Universe, not the least of which are the fine line between piety and insanity, the contradictory emotions that form the bond between a mother and child, and man's lust for a place of his own. Ole Rolvaag was quiet professor at St. Olaf's college with a typical emigrant's bio, but in that mind of his, wonderful and horrible tales raged that invested the flat prairies of the Dakota Territory with fearful storms, mischievous trolls, plagues of Biblical proportion and daily struggles of a man and a woman in conflict in a land that shows no mercy. I understand that this book is sometimes assigned as mandatory reading for high schoolers. In a way that's a shame; this is a book for grownups who know where the characters have been and are going.
7 Comments 141 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
O.E. Rolvaag's epic GIANTS IN THE EARTH is truly an American classic, especially for those of Norwegian or Scandinavian descent or those who've lived in the Great Plains. It seems to be a true description of the life the early settlers lived, the desperation of opressive freedom, and the claustrophobic effect of too much open space.
Per Hansa, the protagonist of our story, moves his family from a fishing village in Norway to the plains of the Dakota Territory in the last part of the 19th century. They are homesteaders, the people who settled the untamed prairie and bound themselves to it, sometimes at great personal cost.
Rolvaag brilliantly describes both the psychological effect of early prairie life and the Norwegian immigrant culture of the time. Being a new land, there were new challenges, new ideas, and new opportunities. In Per Hansa, Rolvaag invents a character that displays the passion and drive of the early settlers. His wife, Beret, like so many wives of the time, follows him with little idea of the hardships and, unfortunately, none of the psychological tools to deal with them. Their neighbors are wonderfully crafted: Tonesten, the whiner; Kjersti, his strong, capable, disrespectful wife; Hans Ola, the solid, dependable Scandinavian whose success is not so much from following his dreams as it is making no mistakes.
One comes to love the settlers even as they deal with squatters, locusts, sod houses, and the endless winter of the northern Plains. Midwestern Americans of Scandinavian descent will know that this is our story - our great-grandparents and great-great grandparents were contemporaries of Per Hansa and Beret.
Rolvaag should know this story - he himself was an immigrant and lived in Northfield, Minnesota for many years.
Read more ›
1 Comment 81 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
There are better-known stories of the homesteading experience, such as Willa Cather's "My Antonia" and Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" series, but none of them hit as close to the truth as did O.E. Rolvaag in "Giants in the Earth."

It is translated into something of an epic style, somewhat like James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking series, but its subject matter almost demands such a style. Because it tells an epic story, of Per's struggles against the prairie, the harsh weather, and against the burden of his well-meaning wife, who lacks Per's inner resources to thrive, despite the forbidding conditions.

But of all the homesteading fiction, "Giants in the Earth" is the closest to the truth of any I have read, in capturing the beauty and violence of the prairie, and the sincere, honest, hard-working beauty of the pioneers who tamed it. Because the truth isn't the pretty pastels of the Little House books. The prairie homesteader had a bleak, harsh, spartan existence, especially before the sod was broken and the trees were planted. There are substantiated accounts of homesteaders and their young families dying out here--starving in the winters if the food carried over from the fall ran out, or freezing to death in blizzards when the snow covered the sodhouses and the fuel was used up. Waves of diphtheria, tuberculosis and influenza killed still more, sending the remnants of the broken families back East. (But when the truth isn't pretty, it is usually covered up.)

So in my opinion, this is a story about greatness, and how even the most apparently humble men can become truly great--daring and achieving things that should be impossible.
Read more ›
1 Comment 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Rolvaag's Giants in the Earth will forever remain as of the truly epic works of American literature. A descendant of the Trottlander tribe of southern Norway myself, I grew up on a farm in midwest Minnesota and experienced the identical landscapes so vividly described in Rolvaag's masterpiece. Needless to say, I have always felt a profound connection to this work through how its rich pathetic fallacy largely mirrored my childhood fantasies and dreams.
Giants in the Earth is a novel about dichotomous relationships. And in a novel that depicts how relationships ultimately define their participants, the central figure in this important work is the land itself. It is interesting to note the order of effects the pastoral loneliness produces in its inhabitants. Beret, like many other non-natives living on the Great Plains, views the land as a lethal threat too pervasively gargantuan to overcome. Per on the other hand, views the land like so many of my father's generation: a fertile blessing that contains some of the most arable land on the entire planet. The attitudes of the novel's central characters towards their situation comes to reveal their strengths and weaknesses in a poignant, bittersweet saga as morose and sublime as the land itself. Compelling, tragic, humorous and underspoken, Rolvaag's Giants in the Earth reflects the feelings and goals of an entire generation of immigrants striven to succeed at all costs. Thankfully for us all, they did.
1 Comment 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews